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Football: ND game in New York brings back memories for Tommy Rees

Tommy Rees

Tommy Rees

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Updated: January 27, 2014 12:43PM



SOUTH BEND — Sure, Tommy Rees would rather be participating in a BCS bowl game. So would the rest of his Notre Dame teammates.

But the quarterback’s final game with the program takes place in a stadium that brings back some memories.

Rees was the starting quarterback the last time the Irish played at Yankee Stadium in 2010 against Army. It was the second start of his career, and his first away from Notre Dame Stadium. He’ll close out his career at the same stadium, this time against Rutgers Saturday in the Pinstripe Bowl.

“It’s cool, a career kind of coming full circle,” Rees said. “Obviously it’s not where we want to be at the end of the year. But to play there again and think back that my second start being there, it’s pretty cool playing at the same place.

“… It will be awesome. It’s an awesome venue. It’s a very special place. For us, it’s a football game that we have to go in and take care of business and get a ‘W.’ That’s all you ever really remember about the bowl game, how the game went. For us, it’s all about getting prepared for that game and making sure we finish things the right way. As seniors and leaders, we understand that.”

Rees was a freshman the last time the Irish played in New York. He completed 13 of 20 passes for 214 yards and one touchdown in the Nov. 20, 2010 contest against the Black Knights. Notre Dame won 27-3.

“It was awesome. The fan base we had in New York City was unbelievable,” Rees said. “The type of reception we got was great. Winning in Yankee Stadium and playing a game there was something I’ll never forget and I’m pretty excited about playing there again.”

Rees is 22-8 as a starter. The win total is tied for seventh on the school’s all-time list. Rees ranks second on Notre Dame’s all-time list for touchdown passes (61). He’s fourth in Notre Dame history for career passing yards (7,351).

Rees got the chance to climb up those lists after returning to the starter’s role this season. He stepped in after the Irish lost Everett Golson to a suspension and has thrown for 2,938 yards. He has 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

“My career is coming to an end, but I’m really excited about taking it all in. I’ll make sure I appreciate the little moments,” Rees said. “… I’m just sharing the moments with my teammates and coaches and really taking it all in at this point.”

There isn’t a championship on the line. But Rees says the final contest takes on special meaning.

“You don’t want to lose your last game at Notre Dame,” Rees said. “We understand that and we are playing for each other and playing for the pride we have in this program and the pride we have in ourselves.”



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